"Community service is a fundamental manifestation of gratitude to be demonstrated on a semester-by-semester basis for the well-being of the students and their future as good citizens." - Mark Murray

It is required for each student receiving the Thompson Working Families Scholarship to complete a total of 20 hours of volunteer service each academic year, with all 20 hours completed by April 30, 2024. If you have issues with completing your hours, please reach out to [email protected].

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What is Community Service?


Voluntary work intended to benefit others within the community

What does community service look like?

  • Volunteering with a local nonprofit organization
  • Helping individual members of the community with household activities, such as shoveling the driveway, raking leaves, grocery delivery, etc.
  • Running a donation drive to collect items for Replenish, Hand2Hand, and other nonprofits that ask for specific donations
  • Picking up trash at a local park
  • Decorating bags for Kids Food Basket

What does not count as community service?

  • Any activity where you receive academic credit or are paid
  • Volunteer work done for family members
  • Time spent on activities that only benefit the membership of a student organization or club, such as attending/leading meetings and marketing your organization
  • Volunteer work that is considered job training or career development, like an internship

Options for Service

The Office of Student Life provides resources for all types of volunteering options:

Virtual Service

Virtual service is anything you can do online on either a computer or phone. This can include hosting a couch party, which is a virtual text banking app that you can use to get your friends registered to vote. You can be a mentor for K-12 students through GVSU charter schools or affinity mentoring. There’s also many websites that have virtual opportunities such as, Heart of West Michigan United Way which has a page dedicated to virtual and remote service.

Remote Volunteering

Remote volunteering is going to refer to service that can be done by yourself or in a socially distanced group that can be done at home but can require some supplies, for example helping decorate bags for Kid’s Food Basket, a local non-profit that gives meals to students in need, or becoming a pen pal with a local nursing home.

In-Person Service

We urge you to keep in mind CDC and local/county health guidelines if you choose to participate in-person at a community partner. You can find opportunities with community partners on the United Way website or via Handshake. There are also many things that can be done in your own neighborhood, this can include helping a neighbor rake their lawn, organizing a neighborhood clean-up, or collecting cans to donate money to a non-profit of your choice. 


Students who need assistance finding a volunteer opportunity that is right for them are welcome to come in to the Office of Student Life (1108 Kirkhof Center) or schedule a consultation with one of the Civic Engagement Associates.

Page last modified February 26, 2024